13 July 2009

A All the Way

Getting re-intergrated to a place is an oddly ongoing experience.  Yesterday as I was trying to avoid the heat by leaving my feebly air-conditioned flat and doing errands and various industrially-treated stores, I remembered that absolutely the best thing I've ever found to wear when it's hot are men's A-shirts.  Dr. Higher HATED my wearing these:  I think he thought they were obscene (in some vague way that I never got a handle on).  As far as I'm concerned, they're an answer to the hot person's prayers:  you can wear one when you're in the house, then two (one on top of the other) when you go out, since one on its own does tend to be a bit see-through.  They provide coverage, but they breathe, so they're comfortable in the hottest weather.  Hanes are better than Fruit of the Loom - they tend to be softer.  Anyway, I picked a three-pack up at Target when I was there yesterday trying to escape from my feebly air-conditioned flat by doing errands at industrially air-conditioned stores, and when I got home I was delighted to discover that they were so long I could practically wear them as teeny mini-dresses.  Today I washed them (to soften them), and they shrunk up a bit.  I'll just have to cut off the bottom three inches to make them regular-sized shirts, which is what I used to do. 

All of which is to say, I salute you, A-shirt!  (or wifebeater, depending on how you feel)

I've had a good, although busy, weekend.  I graded my students' papers (only seven papers, so it didn't take that long), and I read not one but two student theses.  One is an undergraduate thesis I've been drafted in to supervise at the last minute (literally:  the defence is on the 29th), and one is MCLSJB's M.A. thesis.  The latter is terrific, of course.  You know how sometimes you read something, and it's so well written that you just want shove the author, to show them how great you think they are?  Well, it's like that.  

Actually, MCLSJB and his wife and baby son came round on Friday for a cupcake and a cup of tea, and that went amazingly well, too.  I'd never met his wife before, and he and I had never interacted outside the department, so I was worried that it would be awkward and strange. But not at all!  We all had things to say to each other right from the start, and we meshed just fine. It was only the second time since I've been back here that I considered staying (the first was when I hung out, just like old times, with SM and RC, in SM's office).  But of course MCLSJB and his wife will move on, and in any case the occasional Friday night with cupcakes doesn't make a life, and in any any case neither the cupcakes, nor the office conversation, nor the two combined, can outweigh the suffocating suffocating heat.

Also this weekend, I cut a shirt.  I promised O, S.A., and my FTT that I would make them shirts while I was home, and cutting the shirt out of the fabric is (obviously) the first step.  Cutting simply involves laying the pattern pieces on the fabric in a prescribed order, pinning them, then cutting them out.  Pretty simple.  But, as I crouched there on the floor tonight smoothing the fabric and putting in the pins, I reflected that this is, I believe, the most enjoyable part of the sewing process for me.  Now, I should say at this stage that I love to sew; I've done it for years, and I love pretty much all aspects of it.  But none of it is as purely enjoyable as the cutting out part.  There's something so soothing about laying out those pieces so they all fit on the fabric, and the definitive bite of the shears through the cloth, the slightly heavy resistance and the final "snick," is a soothing pleasure that I don't think can be bested, for me.  Lovely.

And here, to close, is tonight's photo.  This is my bathroom.  Did I mention that I painted every room in this flat but one myself?  (and the "one" is wood-panelled, and so couldn't be painted)  The bathroom is very narrow, so I painted it the palest blue available (called "Club Soda"), which doesn't really show up as blue on this photo.  The fish shower curtain is not because it's a bathroom, but rather because when I was in college I painted fish all over the walls and ceiling of the bathroom in the flat I had in my last year.  God, that took hours, but the result was terrific.  And ever since then I've had something fish-themed in my bathroom.  And when I own my own house, I'll paint the bathroom with fish again.

Now I must go do my ballet barre, because if I don't do it every night I lose all the stretch- and strength-building value.

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